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El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante Y Su Hijo Oil on wood. 42 1/2″ x 34 1/2 “. by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo (1853-1913)
Hidalgo”s controversial historical canvas, depicting the violent assassination of Governor-General Bustamante and his son by some friars, was painted at the suggestion of Antonio Ma. Regidor, a mason and anti-cleric. Bustamante assumed office on August 9, 1717, and among his first acts was an inspection of the Royal treasury. Finding that it had suffered considerable losses, he ordered the arrest of several officials and members of the religious corporations involved in the anomaly. Furthermore, he laid an embargo on the cargo of the galleon of that year, because large amounts of merchandise had been brought in illegally to avoid payment of duties. Some of the officials convicted sought sanctuary in the churches but the governor continued to persecute them. When Archbishop Francisco de la Cuesta refused to yield them, he too, was arrested. In retaliation, the friars led by Sebastian de Totanes-then Franciscan prior- marched to the palace and led a fanatic mob in assasinating the governor and his son who came to his aid. Archbishop de la Cuesta, thereafter, became the governor-general ad interim. Hidalgo captured this drama on canvas but for obvious reasons, his work was not publicly exhibited. The Lopez Museum keeps a number of studies of this painting, including the final study in oil on wood, but the original is reported to be in the possession of former Fiscal Guillermo B. Guevarra.